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Amberley and Leithfield

Amberley is a bustling rural town and great place to explore the cafes, crafts and coastline.

While Leithfield is a small country village with a long European history, it was founded in 1857 and is one of the oldest townships in North Canterbury.

Amberley and Leithfield are the southern point of the Hurunui district, only a 45 minute drive north of Christchurch.


Named after Amberley in Derbyshire, Amberley was originally established as a result of the arrival of the railway in 1876.  The township has continued to grow and has become an important farming service centre for the Hurunui district.

Amberley offers a range of country bed and breakfast, farmstay and motel accommodation options making it the perfect country retreat. Enjoy the 18-hole golf course, quality restaurants and cafes, beach walks and a network of scenic walkways at nearby Mt Grey and (little) Lake Janet. 

Check out Chamberlain Park, on State Highway 1, look through the windows of the mid-1800 cob cottage, read the memorial plaque dedicated to Rewi Alley (farmer, teacher, social reformer, peace activist and writer), have your lunch in front of the bird aviary or amongst the rose garden.

Located in front of the Hurunui District Council offices is a statue dedicated to Charles Upham who was awarded the Victoria Cross and Bar.  Charles Upham is one of only three to have won the Victoria Cross twice.

South of Amberley is Leithfield, founded by John Leith as an important coach stop and to provide services to the surrounding farming and milling area.  In 1863 Leithfield boasted one of the first flour mills in North Canterbury and the only one to be powered by wind. 

Worth a visit is the Old Leithfield, a great country pub, it was the overnight stopover in the 1800's for travellers including the Cobb and Co coaches.  It is the starting point for the Kowai Walkway.  The track, suitable for young children, takes you to the coastal settlement of Leithfield Beach. 

Amberley and Leithfield Highlights

Amberley and Leithfield Area Map

Local Events (yearly)

  • Amberley Beach Surf Casting Competition - January 2015
  • Amberley Lions Charity Golf Tournament - April
  • Amberley A&P Show - First Saturday after Labour Weekend